WOODBURN, Ore. -- A shooting last month on the Interstate 5 overpass in Woodburn was justified because the shooter had been pinned by the victim's car, a Marion County Grand Jury decided Wednesday.
On February 9, 31-year-old Ethan Carey, of Tigard, shot 37-year-old LeJeune Bryant, of Woodburn, three times after a minor crash on the overpass. Both were hospitalized without life-threatening injuries after the reported altercation.
Background: Man shot after crash near Woodburn outlets
Wednesday the grand jury declined to file charges against either man, finding that the use of force was justified in the case. Carey shot Bryant only after he had already been hit by Bryant's car, and feared he was about to be hit again, said Marion County Deputy District Attorney Brendan Murphy.
Bryant had rear-ended Carey's car, and the two pulled over to switch insurance information. While Carey was behind his own car taking a photo of Bryant's license plate, Bryant accidentally pinned him between the two vehicles, breaking his collarbone in multiple places, Murphy said.
"Mr. Carey heard the engine rev, felt his bones break and believed at that time that Mr. Bryant was trying to kill him," he added. When Bryant backed the vehicle up, Carey was able to stand up and pull out his gun. Believing Bryant planned to pull forward again, he fired three shots.
Bryant was hit in the chest, right elbow and jaw. Carey called 911 and lay his weapon down on the pavement until police arrived, Murphy said. Both men cooperated with investigators, and neither was impaired at the time of the crash.
The jury decided Bryant's actions were accidental and Carey's use of force was reasonable under the circumstances.